Thursday, June 22, 2006

Broadcast and audio flags, learn from history

The recording and movie industries want to force a "broadcast flag" and "audio flag" into TV and radio transmissions, and require all electronic manufacturers to enforce these flags to prohibit unauthorized copying and redistribution of such content. These flags have been entered into Sen. Stevens' telecom reform bill, and Sen. Sununu has a proposed amendment to take them out. This issue is being discussed in committee today, so if you've got a Senator on this list, call them today and ask them to support the Sununu amendment to remove both flags from the bill (there's a separate Sununu amendment that only removes the audio flag):
Chairman Ted Stevens (AK), (202) 224-3004                                
John McCain (AZ), (202) 224-2235
Conrad Burns (MT), Main: 202-224-2644
Trent Lott (MS), (202) 224-6253
Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), (202) 224-5922
Gordon H. Smith (OR), (202) 224 3753
John Ensign (NV), (202) 224-6244
George Allen (VA), (202) 224-4024
John E. Sununu (NH), (202) 224-2841
Jim DeMint (SC), (202) 224-6121
David Vitter (LA),(202) 224-4623
Co-Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (HI), (202) 224-3934
John D. Rockefeller (WV), (202) 224-6472
John F. Kerry (MA), (202) 224-2742
Barbara Boxer (CA), (202) 224-3553
Bill Nelson (FL), (202) 224-5274
Maria Cantwell (WA), (202) 224-3441
Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ), (202) 224-3224
E. Benjamin Nelson (NE), (202) 224-6551
Mark Pryor (AR), (202) 224-2353
The Consumer Electronics Association has a new advertisement out that shows the lunacy of the arguments for these flags based on the past record of these industries crying wolf about the dangers of new technology:

“I forsee a marked deterioration in American music…and a host of other injuries to music in its artistic manifestations, by virtue—or rather by vice—of the multiplication of the various music-reproducing machines…” -John Philip Sousa on the Player Piano (1906)

“The public will not buy songs that it can hear almost at will by a brief manipulation of the radio dials.” -Record Label Executive on FM Radio (1925)

“But now we are faced with a new and very troubling assault on our fiscal security, on our very economic life and we are facing it from a thing called the videocassette recorder.” -MPAA on the VCR (1982)

“When the manufacturers hand the public a license to record at home…not only will the songwriter tie a noose around his neck, not only will there be no more records to tape [but] the innocent public will be made an accessory to the destruction of four industries.” -ASCAP on the Cassette Tape (1982)

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